Striker Kabiru Umar (right) of Plateau United against Akwa United

NPFL leaders Plateau United will go six points clear should they stop closest rivals MFM FC in front of their fans at the Rwang Pam Stadium in Jos tomorrow.

Hosts Plateau United have not pulled up from the throttle since the start of the campaign, but still only three points separate them from their guests, Mountain of Fire and Miracles (MFM).

Plateau United go into this epic matchday 34 confrontation three points clear at the top and they will hope to annex all three points to extend their lead on the standings at this business end of the season.

Many factors point to their win. First they have not dropped maximum points on home ground this term and don’t seem prepared to let go in this one.

With 15 points to play for in the remaining five rounds of matches, Plateau United will have themselves to blame if they stutter.

MFM will be handicapped in the game following the absence of their influential performers.

The pair of striker Stephen Odey, NPFL leading scorer with 18 goals, and midfielder Olatunbosun Sikiru are on national team duties with the home-based Super Eagles for the CHAN qualifier against The Squirrels of Benin Republic in Cotonou.

Coach Fidelis Ilechukwu has therefore been forced to rejig his side with Onuwa as the pivot.

Certainly, the winners of this tie would have put themselves in a very good position to be champions.

 ENYIMBA VS ABS

This is a game matching teams with contrasting fortunes. Enyimba are up for an eighth title win, but ABS are in fierce race against relegation. Enyimba are fourth on the table going into this one and a win for ‘The People’s Elephant’ may not change things as Akwa United are five points ahead going into this matchday 34 clash.

ABS, who are 17th on the table will play the game of their lives for a point. Their ambition, as difficult as it clearly appears, could still be possible given the fact that Enyimba captain and leading scorer, Mfom Udoh may not be available for manager Gbenga Ogunbote’s selection on account of injury at the CHAN Eagles camp.

AKWA UNITED VS NIGER TORNADOES

Akwa United are poised for a glorious finish this term. Though they started late, the players appear to have come to terms with manager Abdul Maikaba’s philosophy.

Currently sitting on third spot in the standings with 51 points, Akwa United look good to further consolidate with the visit of Niger Tornadoes.

Tornadoes are 8th on the table with 48 points. It looks pretty late for them to mount a title challenge, so they could be comfortable with a modest finishing on the final day standings.

But Akwa United will be hard done if they take things for granted.

And they will be without four key players who away with the CHAN Eagles in Cotonou – Emmanuel Ariwachukwu, Afeez Aremu, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi and Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Muazzam’.

Rivers United in action against FC Ifeanyiubah recently

EL KANEMI WARRIORS VS FC IFEANYIUBAH

Only one point separates these two ambitious sides – El Kanemi Warriors are sixth on the table with 49 points, while their guests are fifth with 50 points.

On the balance of quality, FC Ifeanyiubah stand on a better pedestral, but Maiduguri is a fortress for the home side.

It will not be in amiss if the hosts annex the maximum points to leapfrog their guests in the standings.

RANGERS VS SUNSHINE STARS

Champion Enugu Rangers, have found themselves racing against time. But Christian Chukwu has always insisted ‘The Flying Antelopes’ won’t go down.

Against Sunshine Stars, the maximum points count so much for the two sides. Sunshine Stars fortunes have improved since the arrival of coach Duke Udi, as replacement for Augustine Eguavoen.

He has won two games on the road and said they will fight for the remaining 15 points in the season to stay alive. With the two sides struggling against relegation, any one of them who goes to sleep in this one will have himself to blame.

REMOS STARS VS RIVERS UNITED

Remo Stars have mathematically been relegated but could drag Rivers United along if the Pride of Rivers fail to deal properly with their internal issues as well as injury concerns.

 

By Sab Osuji

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